‘May there always be a cairn on your horizon and mud on your boots‘, A Hyde.
The local area, the Lake District, has always drawn people for holidays: its lakes, hills and mountains appealing to walkers and climbers; its rich heritage of interest to many, from stately homes and castles to Roman forts and prehistoric stone circles; and its beauty an inspiration to all, whatever the weather.
Here in the North Lakes, that unspoilt feel, so special to anyone living in a town or city, has been proudly retained. Here you can walk for hours without seeing another soul, and if you find yourself stuck in traffic, you can be sure there is a tractor up ahead!
Overwater Hall’s extensive grounds offer a host of opportunities for enjoying the local wildlife, with resident red squirrels being the top attraction. Deer and rabbits are amongst the less unusual visitors, whilst hotel guests delight in watching the feeding antics of the delicately coloured Nuthatch, or the more vibrant Greater Spotted Woodpecker. In fact, the Hall has often been described as a bird watcher’s paradise, and if you visit between April and August you might even catch site of one of Cumbria’s nesting Ospreys flying overhead on its way to fish at Overwater Tarn. To be sure of seeing these magnificent birds, visit the official Osprey viewpoint at Dodd Wood, just 3 miles from the hotel.
If it’s culture you seek, there are many opportunities to immerse yourself in Cumbrian life both old and new.
A visit to Wordsworth House in Cockermouth is highly recommended: ‘This lovely Georgian townhouse was the birthplace and childhood home of romantic poet William and his sister Dorothy. Presented as their bustling family home and peopled by costumed servants, it offers an unforgettable chance for all ages to see, smell, hear, touch and even taste what it was like to live in the 1770s’.
Another historic house on our doorstep is Mirehouse: ‘The house has many unique collections: explore the strong literary connections Mirehouse has had over the years to Tennyson, Edward Fitzgerald, Thomas Carlyle and William Wordsworth in the relaxed atmosphere of a family home’, or simply ‘enjoy the attraction of the tranquility of the walled Bee Garden, stroll in quiet contemplation along the Poetry Walk or by the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake’.
For the more adventurous, a visit to Whinlatter Forest Park has it all: walking trails, cycle routes, a children’s ‘Wild Play’ area, and between April and August the ospreys can be viewed on their nest via a live web cam feed in the Visitors’ Centre.
If shopping is more your thing, Keswick is home to every outdoor shop you could ever hope to browse, along with numerous independent shops and galleries selling lovely gifts, art, crafts and perfumery. There is also a market here every Thursday and Saturday.
Cockermouth is another well stocked market town, boasting several antique shops and a lovely delicatessan.
Further afield, Carlisle has a very comfortable pedestrianised shopping area, to say nothing of its beautiful cathedral, historic castle and excellent museum, Tullie House.
Walking costs nothing and has been proven to benefit your health and well-being.
Whether a relaxing lakeside ramble is for you, or a more exhilerating mountain walk, the Lake District has it all – and here in the North Lakes you will often find that you have it all…to yourself! A booklet of local walks can be purchased from the hotel, price £1 including a donation to a local footpath repair scheme, and a small selection of OS maps is available for guests’ use. If this is your first walking holiday, you might find the Ramblers website helpful.
A great choice of guided walks is on offer at Keswick Ramblers
The Lake District Walker is an outfit offering bespoke outdoor activities – ‘have you always wanted to climb a mountain, abseil a cliff, rock climb before finding a wild camp for the night? If it’s safe and legal we will consider it’. Call or e-mail for a quotation 01900 822448 | 0780 5929132
Deer and rabbits are amongst the less unusual visitors, whilst hotel guests delight in watching the feeding antics of the delicately coloured Nuthatch, or the more vibrant Greater Spotted Woodpecker. In fact, the Hall has often been described as a bird watcher’s paradise, and if you visit between April and August you might even catch site of one of Cumbria’s nesting Ospreys flying overhead on its way to fish at Overwater Tarn. To be sure of seeing these magnificent birds, visit the official Osprey viewpoint at Dodd Wood, just 3 miles from the hotel.